The prophet shows that the happiness of Israel and Judah, united in one prosperous nation, will rest upon the consciousness that their chastisement has been the result of sins which they have themselves committed, and that God‘s covenant depends not upon external sanctions, but upon a renewed heart.
So rapid shall be the increase that it shall seem as if children and young cattle sprang up out of the ground.
Jeremiah 31:29, Jeremiah 31:30
A sour grape - Better, sour grapes. The idea that Jeremiah and Ezekiel (marginal reference) modified the terms of the second Commandment arises from a mistaken exegesis of their words. Compare Jeremiah 32:18; Deuteronomy 24:16. The obdurate Jews made it a reproach to the divine justice that the nation was to be sorely visited for Manasseh‘s sin. But this was only because generation after generation had, instead of repenting, repeated the sins of that evil time, and even in a worse form. justice must at length have its course. The acknowledgment that each man died for his own iniquity was a sign of their return to a more just and right state of feeling.
A time is foretold which shall be to the nation as marked an epoch as was the Exodus. God at Sinai made a covenant with His people, of which the sanctions were material, or (where spiritual) materially understood. Necessarily therefore the Mosaic Church was temporary, but the sanctions of Jeremiah‘s Church are spiritual - written in the heart - and therefore it must take the place of the former covenant Hebrews 8:13, and must last forever. The prophecy was fulfilled when those Jews who accepted Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, expanded the Jewish into the Christian Church.
Although - i. e., although as their husband (or, “lord” (Baal, compare Hosea 2:16)) I had lawful authority over them. The translation in Hebrews 8:9 agrees with the Septuagint here, but the balance of authority is in favor of the King James Version.
The old law could be broken Jeremiah 31:32; to remedy this God gives, not a new law, but a new power to the old law. It used to be a mere code of morals, external to man, and obeyed as a duty. In Christianity, it becomes an inner force, shaping man‘s character from within.
I will forgive their iniquity - The foundation of the new covenant is the free forgiveness of sins (compare Matthew 1:21). It is the sense of this full unmerited love which so affects the heart as to make obedience henceforward an inner necessity.
After those days - When vision and prophecy shall be sealed up, and Jesus have assumed that body which was prepared for him, and have laid down his life for the redemption of a lost world, and, having ascended on high, shall have obtained the gift of the Holy Spirit to purify the heart; then God's law shall, by it, be put in their inward parts, and written on their hearts; so that all within and all without shall be holiness to the Lord. Then God will be truly their God, received and acknowledged as their portion, and the sole object of their devotion; and they shall be his people, filled with holiness, and made partakers of the Divine nature, so that they shall perfectly love him and worthily magnify his name.
[Note.—At times during the early days of the message, Seventh-day Adventists caught glimpses of a broadening work that would eventually embrace many nationalities. Not until the early 70's, however, did the leaders in the Advent movement begin to comprehend that theirs was a mission to the whole world. Even as late as in 1872, the scripture, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come,” was regarded simply as a “prominent sign of the last day,” meeting fulfillment in the extension of Protestant missions. Its complete fulfillment was in no way associated with the spread of the Advent movement throughout the world. (See The Review and Herald, April 16 and July 16, 1872.) But in 1873 a marked change of sentiment began to appear in the utterances of leaders among Seventh-day Adventists regarding their duty to warn the world. (See editorial The Review and Herald, August 26, 1873; and many other articles of similar import in the issues that followed.) By the close of the year 1874, this transformation of sentiment seems to have been effected almost completely.]
Dec. 10, 1871, I was shown that God would accomplish a great work through the truth, if devoted, self-sacrificing men would give themselves unreservedly to the work of presenting it to those in darkness. Those who have a knowledge of the precious truth, and who are consecrated to God, should avail themselves of every opportunity where there is an opening to press in the truth. Angels of God are moving on the hearts and consciences of the people of other nations, and honest souls are troubled as they witness the signs of the times in the unsettled state of the nations. The inquiry arises in their hearts, What will be the end of all these things? While God and angels are at work to impress hearts, the servants of Christ seem to be asleep. But few are working in unison with the heavenly messengers. LS 203.1Read in context »
Elder White: “Then at one time I remember very distinctly about your saying that, `as we approach nearer the end I have seen our camp meetings with less preaching and more Bible study; little groups all over the ground with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free, conversational study of the Scriptures.” VSS 235.1
Ellen White: “That is the work that has been shown me, that our camp meetings would increase in success and interest. There are those that want more definite light. There are some that take [a] longer time to get hold of things and get what you really mean. If they could have the privilege of having it made a little plainer they would see that, and would catch hold of that. And it would be like a nail fastened in a sure place, and it would be written on the tablets of their hearts. VSS 235.2
“When the great throngs would gather about Christ, He gave His lessons of instruction. Then the disciples in different places and different positions after the discourse would repeat what Christ had said. The people had misapplied Christ's words; and the disciples would tell the people what the Scriptures said, and what Christ said the Scriptures said. They were learning to be educators. They were next to Christ, getting lessons from Him and giving them to the people.”—Manuscript 19b, 1890. VSS 235.3Read in context »
In mercy God seeks to lead the unrighteous to repentance. The obedient will delight in the law of the Lord. He puts His laws in their minds, and writes them in their hearts. Their speech will be such as is prompted by an indwelling Saviour. They have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul from all the defilement of Satan's suggestions. Their heart yearns after God. In their conversation they love to dwell upon His mercy and goodness, for to them He is altogether lovely. They learn the language of heaven, the country of their adoption. UL 297.3Read in context »
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33, R.S.V. TDG 146.1
When the law of God is written in the heart it will be exhibited in a pure and holy life. The commandments of God are no dead letter. They are spirit and life, bringing the imaginations and even the thoughts into subjection to the will of Christ. The heart in which they are written will be kept with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. All who love Jesus and keep the commandments will seek to avoid the very appearance of evil; not because they are constrained thus to do, but because they are copying a pure model, and feel averse to everything contrary to the law written in their hearts. They will not feel self-sufficient, but their trust will be in God, who alone is able to keep them from sin and impurity. The atmosphere surrounding them is pure; they will not corrupt their own souls or the souls of others. It is their pleasure to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. TDG 146.2Read in context »